I don’t think I was the only one to groan at the sight of more snow on our Decorah nests this morning! Fortunately, the Decorah and Decorah North eagles are well-equipped to handle winter’s snow and cold. Given that a polar vortex is forecast to hit Decorah next week, we might see a little less of the eagles at both nests as they hunker down to conserve energy and stay warm!
So what’s going on at the North Nest? A visitor plays house in a snowy nest, we see a Belted Kingfisher fishing in the stream, DNF (I think) perches on the Love Branch, and we see her eat a squirrel for lunch. In general, Mr. North and new mate DNF have been busy with nestoration, snowstoration, and bonding. Eagles in snow are a lovely sight!
Decorah North Eagles
1/22/19: DNF with squirrel for lunch – https://youtu.be/bqW3JcBzIm4. Falconer Frank Taylor told me that squirrels can be surprisingly dangerous prey. They bite hard and fast, and their bites can inflict permanent damage on talons and tendons. However, they are also plentiful and available year-round, which makes the risk worth it! We get some nice close-ups starting at 5:38 and 10:12.
01/21/19: Morning – https://youtu.be/56Uo2uAwwtU. One of the things I truly love about the North Valley is how remote it is. This long video focuses primarily on DNF (I think) who is perched on the Love Branch. I had some trouble with this ID – the eagle looks very large, but its head looks very white! Feel welcome to comment on this!
1/19/19: Afternoon visit and Kingfisher fishing – https://youtu.be/WRFI4OyXj2c. Mr. North is sitting in a pasture tree. DNF joins him at 3:05 and the two vocalize together. She appears to be signaling receptivity and the two perch very close together. They both take off in the 4th minute and the camera moves to the stream. At 5:04, we see a Belted Kingfisher fishing! I’m always surprised to see them in Iowa in the middle of winter. you can learn more about them here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Belted_Kingfisher/lifehistory.
1/19/2019: Visitor at DN Snowy Nest – https://youtu.be/vmg0l0NHVY0. An almost five year old eagle – look closely for the remaining dark head feathers, because there aren’t very many! – visits the North nest. It checks out the nest and babysitting branch, pulls out some sticks, and plays house in the deep snow! I especially enjoyed the stick work starting at 5:30, when a pesky stick gives the visitor a little trouble!